Weekly Grooves

Oct 17 2020 15 mins 14

Life is better through a behavioral lens. This weekly podcast tackles topical news items and gives them additional meaning by applying behavioral science to them.





The Art of Communicating Risk
Oct 17 2020 15 mins  
This week we look at how we communicate risk and uncertainty. In an article from Harvard Business Review titled, “The Art of Communicating Risk” by Anne Cleaveland, Cussins Newman, and Steven Weber, the authors outline how communicating risk, particularly uncertain risk, is at the very least, difficult.Sometimes, the recipients of the message are underestimated; however, we are actually pretty good at coping with “straightforward bad news.” Our communication style and frequency matter the most when we face uncertainty, especially in situations where we can’t tell how bad something might be.The article identifies a common dilemma that firms wrestle with: whether to err on the side of communicating too much or too frequently, OR not enough and too infrequently. The idea is that both have negative consequences and finding the sweet spot is challenging.Our discussion focuses a behavioral lens on three directives that companies should consider in risk communication. First, stop improvising. Second, change the metric for success and measure the results. And finally, design risk communications from the beginning. We hope you enjoy this week’s discussion of the application of behavioral science and, if you did, please take a moment to give us a quick rating or review. We hope you go out and find your groove this week. LinksHBR Article: The Art of Communicating Risk: https://hbr.org/2020/09/the-art-of-communicating-risk?utm_campaign=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=97432048&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8nQTZBdA_wxHEidLHYRdp--uNeQFG7seEZUAH681QXpA_PSP5Ql8Qt7Jt9FpF6LLA2Usx4qQ0V2kPMCyGh_d4a-MqrQQ&utm_content=97432148&utm_source=hs_emailAnurag Vaish, co-founder of The Final Mile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anurag-vaish-1987818/?originalSubdomain=inTeresa Amabile, PhD: https://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/profile.aspx?facId=6409Premortem: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-mortem#:~:text=A%20pre%2Dmortem%2C%20or%20premortem,of%20the%20project%20or%20organization.


Improve Productivity by Making Your Workforce Psychologically Safe
Oct 09 2020 16 mins  
We were inspired by a recent article on CNBC’s website by Cory Steig, called “ 'Psychological safety’ at work improves productivity–here are 4 ways to get it, according to a Harvard expert.” The piece reviews some research on psychology safety that Kurt and I have been focused on for years.Psychological safety is a concept that was identified by Harvard Professor Amy Edmondson from work in the 1990’s. Professor Edmondson defines psychological safety as “a workplace where one feels that one’s voice is welcome with bad news, questions, concerns, half-baked ideas and even mistakes.” One way we experience this is when we feel that the team has my back through both good and bad. Kurt and Tim believe that psychological safety is both undervalued and under-implemented in companies today and we hope listeners can apply some of the key points in this brief discussion to their workplace.© 2020 Weekly Grooves LinksKurt Nelson, PhD: [email protected] Houlihan: [email protected] Psychological Safety at work improves productivity: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/05/why-psychological-safety-is-important-at-work-and-how-to-create-it.htmlHow Making a Mistake in the Interview Could Land You the Job: https://www.vault.com/blogs/interviewing/how-making-a-mistake-in-the-interview-could-land-you-the-jobRe:Work – Google shares much of the insights from Project Aristotle and how to implement them: https://rework.withgoogle.com/print/guides/5721312655835136/Forbes article by Shane Snow that overviews Psychological Safety and describes what it is and is not – nice summary that helps clarify key aspects of this concept: https://www.forbes.com/sites/shanesnow/2020/05/04/how-psychological-safety-actually-works/#51e147dbf864How to foster psychological safety in virtual meetings: https://hbr.org/2020/08/how-to-foster-psychological-safety-in-virtual-meetingsElliot Aronson, PhD Coffee Study: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pratfall_effect



The Single Largest Driver of Coronavirus Misinformation
Oct 03 2020 18 mins  
Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Noah Weiland of The New York Times wrote an article titled, “Study Finds ‘Single Largest Driver’ of Coronavirus Misinformation: Trump.” The article is based on research from the Cornell Alliance for Science that analyzed over 38 million articles around the world on the pandemic. They found that “Mentions of Trump made up nearly 38% of the overall “misinformation conversation,” making the president the largest driver of the “infodemic.”Of the 38 million articles on the pandemic, 1.1 million of them “disseminated, amplified or reported on misinformation related to the pandemic.” The study found 11 topics of misinformation that were prevalent in these articles – ranging from the pandemic being a hoax facilitated by the Democrats to the virus being a deep state or bioweapon of China to the most common one – miracle cures.Kurt and Tim decided to break down the discussion into three parts: 1.) The psychology of misinformation. 2.) The messenger effect and 3.) The psychology behind why Donald Trump might be doing this.© 2020 Weekly Grooves Links“Study Finds 'Single Largest Driver' of Coronavirus Misinformation: Trump”: https://news.yahoo.com/study-finds-single-largest-driver-120309389.htmlCORONAVIRUS MISINFORMATION: Quantifying sources and themes in the COVID-19 ‘infodemic’: https://allianceforscience.cornell.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Evanega-et-al-Coronavirus-misinformationFINAL.pdfWhat drove the COVID misinformation ‘infodemic’: https://allianceforscience.cornell.edu/blog/2020/10/what-drove-the-covid-misinformation-infodemic/“Messengers: Who We Listen To, Who We Don’t, and Why”: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/43522604


If You Want To Get Ahead FAST, Don’t Be A Jerk
Sep 25 2020 10 mins  
This week’s groove comes from an article by Laura Counts from the University of California at Berkley, where she reported on some research by Berkeley Haas professor, Cameron Anderson. Professor Anderson’s research points out that being a jerk, while it might get you some immediate gains, in the long run is a bad strategy. In two longitudinal studies that Anderson and his colleagues conducted, they found that “disagreeable individuals did not attain higher power” relative to others. This flies in the face of some commonly held beliefs, but this belief stems from availability bias, where some high profile leaders are egotistical and mean. And as Laura states in her article, “It’s not to say that jerks don’t reach positions of power. It’s just that they don’t get ahead faster than others,”Kurt and Tim decided to integrate the thoughts of two great ideas into this discussion. The first is Adam Grant in his description of three main social interaction types: Givers, Takers, and Matchers. The other is based on the work of Paul Lawrence and Nitin Nohria, and it’s called the 4 Drive Model. We think both of these approaches add context to Professor Anderson’s work.We hope you enjoy this episode. If you like it, please share it with a friend, mention us on social media or leave us a review on whichever pod service you use. We hope you go out and find your groove this week! Links“Being a selfish jerk doesn’t get you ahead, research finds,” by Laura Counts, August 31, 2020. https://newsroom.haas.berkeley.edu/research/being-a-selfish-jerk-doesnt-get-you-ahead-research-finds/?utm_source=join1440&utm_medium=email“People with disagreeable personalities (selfish, combative, and manipulative) do not have an advantage in pursuing power at work.” Anderson, Sharps, Soto and John (2020) https://www.pnas.org/content/117/37/22780Adam Grant, “Give & Take” https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16158498-give-and-takeLawrence & Nohria, 4 Drive Model: https://www.leadersbeacon.com/how-great-leaders-use-the-4-drive-model-to-impact-employee-motivation/#:~:text=The%204%2DDrive%20Theory%20of,%2C%20and%20to%20Define%20%26%20Defend.




Redefining Old Age
Sep 04 2020 13 mins  
Nathan Yau, the head of the FlowingData.com blog site, wrote a piece called “Redefining Old Age” where he explores our changing definition and understanding of what it means to be old. The article starts by looking at various definitions of old age and reminds the reader that the average person’s life expectancy has dramatically increased since the 1930s. Kurt and Tim dissect this topic through a behavioral science lens wondering how old age gets redefined when (a) we live so much longer and (b) the psychological and social implications are so different today than they were even two decades ago.Nathan does an excellent job of reporting the facts in his article and there are three important ones to call out. First, the definition of old age is often dependent upon who you ask. It can start with “Anyone with white hair and glasses” to “About 10-15 years before I expect to die.” The second is that the World Health Organization notes that “old age” is highly dependent on living in a developed country or not. The third call-out is that less than 100 years ago, in 1930, only 50% of males and 57% of females made it to the ripe old age of 65. Today, the average life expectancy of males is 77 and females is over 81 years old. That is an enormous change in such a short period of time.Finally, the article has some very cool graphs that highlight the supporting documentation and we encourage you to check it out. You might even become a fan of FlowingData.com, which gets our enthusiastic support.Thanks for listening and keep on grooving.© 2020 Weekly Grooves LINKSRedefining Old Age: https://flowingdata.com/2020/08/26/redefining-old-age/?utm_source=join1440&utm_medium=emailLife Expectancy by Country: https://www.worldometers.info/demographics/life-expectancy/Priming and the Psychology of Memory: https://www.verywellmind.com/priming-and-the-psychology-of-memory-4173092Dan Buettner “Blue Zones”: https://www.bluezones.com/Positive vs negative priming of older adult’s generative value: do negative messages impair memory?: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13607863.2016.1239063?journalCode=camh20Look for new roles for older citizens in an aging America, says Stanford's Laura Carstensen: https://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/february/carstensen-older-americans-021712.htmlTim Urban - Your Life In Weeks: https://waitbutwhy.com/2014/05/life-weeks.html




What Do Lions, Cow Butts with Painted Eyes and Human Decision Making Have in Common?
Aug 22 2020 15 mins  
This week we were inspired by Robby Berman’s article on Big Think.com called “Eyes painted on cow butt’s thwart lion attacks.” It got us thinking about how humans put together stories from things that don’t make sense – just like lions.The article is about how lions don’t prey on cattle when the cattle have eyes painted on their butts. Lions are what are called ambush predators. That means they want the easiest kills possible. They want to come up on an unsuspecting animal and pounce it quickly…and they won’t do that if the animal appears to be looking at them.Lions confuse the painted eyes for real eyes. More than simply the inability to process a fake eye from a real eye, lions are susceptible to an optical illusion. Optical illusions happen to be very similar to cognitive illusions (in decision making) in humans.Kurt and Tim decided to follow this direction: how do people make decisions when the inputs don’t make sense or when there’s too much input data?This discussion is about human decision making and the challenges we have with using shortcuts (heuristics) to make sense of overwhelming amounts of data. © 2020 Weekly GroovesResources “Eyes painted on cow butts thwart lion attacks” in BigThink.com by Robby Berman, 12 August, 2020: https://bigthink.com/surprising-science/cow-eye-butt?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1 “TOP 10 MASTERS OF DECEPTION IN THE NATURAL WORLD” http://isciencemag.co.uk/features/top-10-masters-of-deception-in-the-natural-world/ “’Reality’ is constructed by your brain. Here’s what that means, and why it matters.” By Brian Resnick, Vox, July 2020. https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/20978285/optical-illusion-science-humility-reality-polarization “How Do Optical Illusions Work?” by Kirk Zamieroski on Inside Science: https://www.insidescience.org/video/how-do-optical-illusions-work Common Biases & Heuristics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XHpBr0VFcaT8wIUpr-9zMIb79dFMgOVFRxIZRybiftI/edit Some of our favorite optical illusions…Cornsweet illusion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornsweet_illusionAdelson’s Checker-Shadow Illusion: https://www.illusionsindex.org/ir/checkershadowPoggendorff Illusion: https://www.illusionsindex.org/ir/poggendorff-illusionShepard Tables: https://www.illusionsindex.org/i/shepard-scalesKanizsa Triangle: https://www.illusionsindex.org/i/kanizsa-triangle


3 Reasons Why Dolly Parton is So Likeable
Aug 14 2020 16 mins  
3 Reasons Why Dolly Parton is So LikeableToday we saw an article in Billboard Magazine by Melinda Newman titled, “Dolly Parton: Steers her Empire Through the Pandemic – and Keeps it Grooving.” Yes, putting “grooving” in the title made it appealing, but the general fascination with Dolly caused us to investigate more deeply.What we found is what millions of people already know: Dolly Parton is frickin amazing! Looking back at her 50 years of work –as a singer, actress, and entrepreneur – you get a sense of how amazing she is with all the success in a diverse line of work.As the article stated, “Everyone sees her as theirs.” She transcends boundaries by connecting with people from many walks of life. This is partly due to who she is – she is warm, funny, smart, and likeable but also diverse in her professional offerings.Melinda Newman’s article was in part spurred because Dolly garnered a lot of publicity with her positive support of Black Lives Matter. Some of the press was caused by an apparent mismatch of her persona and who she really is. Surprise leads to attention and she got it. Plus the way that she stated her support called out white people – and that was surely an attention-getter.We hope you enjoy our episode of Weekly Grooves. If you do, please leave us a quick review on the service of your liking.© 2020 Weekly Grooves ReferencesDolly Parton: Steers her empire through the pandemic – and keeps it grooving.”: https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/country/9432581/dolly-parton-country-power-players-billboard-cover-story-interview-2020Psychology Today: Why we are obsessed with celebrities: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-big-questions/200912/why-we-are-obsessed-celebritiesNew Yorker Radio Hour with David Remnick: https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/dolly-partons-americaLikeability Scale: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/roger-covin/likeable_b_901191.html


To Move Fast, Slow Down: 3 Tips to Make Better Decisions in 15 Minutes
Aug 07 2020 15 mins  
This week we were inspired by an article by Minda Zetlin on Inc.’s webpage titled, “Need to make a difficult decision fast? Take 15 minutes and do this first.”The article outlines tips on how to slow down prior to making a key decision in order to improve the quality of the decision you’re making. The basic idea is to move fast, we need to slow down.In the article, Ms. Zetlin shares how we, particularly in this time of COVID, are dealing with a lot of tough decisions. This causes stress and can potentially lead to decisions that we regret later. In it, the author suggests that people should take a 15-minute timeout before any significant decision and I quote, “Nearly all business decisions – even very pressing ones – can accommodate a 15-minute delay.”It's not only a timeout – but a timeout with some very specific steps: She notes, Step 1: 30-60 seconds of vigorous exercise. Step 2: take some deep breathes. Step 3: pause and process your decision. We hope you enjoy this episode. If you do, please leave us a quick review.© 2020 Weekly Grooves LINKS“Need to Make a Difficult Decision Fast? Take 15 Minutes and Do This First,” Minda Zeltin, Inc. Magazine: https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/decision-making-tough-choices-mental-calm-focus.html Exercising to Relax – Harvard Health Publishing: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/exercising-to-relax “Endorphins and Exercise: How Intense Does a Workout Have to Be for the ‘High’ to Kick in?”: https://www.wellandgood.com/endorphins-and-exercise/ “Diaphragmatic Breathing Exercises and Your Vagus Nerve”: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-athletes-way/201705/diaphragmatic-breathing-exercises-and-your-vagus-nerve “Deciding advantageously before knowing the advantageous strategy” by A, Bechara, H. Damasio, D. Tranel, and A. Damasio: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/275/5304/1293 Stephen Curtis, PhD in Behavioral Grooves # 148: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/covid-19-crisis-stephen-curtis-on-neuroplasticity-and-creating-the-ideal/





The Demographic and Psychological Aspects of Mask Wearing
Jul 17 2020 17 mins  
Megan Brenan, a research consultant at Gallup, published an article on July 13, 2020, about data collected in a recent Gallup Poll. Her article is titled, “Americans’ Face Mask Usage Varies Greatly by Demographics.” We were intrigued because every demographic breakdown comes with some psychological components.Facemask use in public helps to stop the spread of coronavirus, according to the latest scientific sources. However, wearing a mask has become politized beyond the facts. Brenan’s article took an in-depth look at the demographic breakdown of usage of masks and we wanted to discuss the potential psychological issues associated with them. We thought that there might be some psychological differences among the demographic groups. We wondered why some people are feeling like they don’t have to wear a mask, or that wearing a mask makes some people “sheep,” while others wear a mask without hesitation and can’t understand what might be motiving others to not wear a mask!We hope you enjoy our discussion and, if you do, please leave us a quick 5-star rating!© 2020 Weekly Grooves LINKSAmericans’ Face Mask Usage Varies Greatly by Demographics: Megan Brenan Gallup: https://news.gallup.com/poll/315590/americans-face-mask-usage-varies-greatly-demographics.aspx?utm_source=join1440&utm_medium=emailThe Masks We Wear (and Don’t Wear): Shawn Burns Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/presence-mind/202006/the-masks-we-wear-and-don-t-wearConfrontation over face masks and the psychology behind why some people resist them: Jessical Flores USA Today: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/07/14/across-usa-face-masks-seen-some-lifesavers-others-seen-them-violations/5437469002/The Masks We Wear (and Don’t Wear): Shawn Burns Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/presence-mind/202006/the-masks-we-wear-and-don-t-wear


Using Diversity to Bring a New Lens to Old Problems
Jun 27 2020 18 mins  
This week, Tim found an article published by the American Economic Association with Harvard professor Mario Small, PhD called “Rethinking racial discrimination: how sociology can help economics diversify its perspective.”The article explores how – with only 3% of economists identifying as black in a recent AEA survey – economists are lacking a diverse perspective. Dr. Small argues this inhibits creativity and innovation in the field of economics and is particularly true as it relates to how racial discrimination is studied in economics.He argues that economics could learn from sociology in the way the field embraces different perspectives and uses each to paint a more accurate and holistic understanding of issues. He points out that there are currently only two main perspectives on discrimination in economics – “taste-based and statistical-discrimination,” neither of which reaches the underlying issues. In this episode, Kurt and Tim explore the article with a slightly different lens. We have seen how diversity of race and gender and age and political affiliation can lead to more engaging discussions, improved creativity, more robust innovation, and hence better outcomes, in science, business, and our personal lives.We hope you enjoy our discussion and please share it with a friend if you found it helpful.© 2020 Weekly Grooves LINKSRethinking racial discrimination: https://www.aeaweb.org/research/economics-racial-discrimination-mario-smallHBR: Does Diversity Actually Increase Creativity?: https://hbr.org/2017/06/does-diversity-actually-increase-creativityEthnic Diversity and Creativity in Small Groups: McLeod, Lobel & Cox: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1046496496272003Hidden Brain: Creative Differences: https://www.npr.org/2019/01/24/687707404/creative-differences-the-benefits-of-reaching-out-to-people-unlike-ourselvesImplicit Bias Review: http://kirwaninstitute.osu.edu/implicit-bias-training/resources/2017-implicit-bias-review.pdfDiversity and black leadership in corporate America: https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/02/success/diversity-and-black-leadership-in-corporate-america/index.htmlKimberle Crenshaw, JD: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kimberl%C3%A9_Williams_CrenshawApril Seifert, PhD in Episode 24: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/april-seifert-on-digital-exhaust-analysis-and-gender-stereotyping/Race and Intelligence: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_and_intelligenceApril Seifert, PhD – Episode 24 of Behavioral Grooves: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/april-seifert-on-digital-exhaust-analysis-and-gender-stereotyping/GI Joe Effect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GimHHAID_P0


If You Can Work from Anywhere, Where Will You Live?
Jun 19 2020 19 mins  
We saw an article in the Wall Street Journal titled “When Workers Can Live Anywhere, Many Ask: Why Do I Live Here?” and it got us thinking. Millions of white-collar workers have been displaced from their offices and are being told they are on indefinite work-from-home status. And many of those workers are opting to leave the big cities where the virus has been most aggressive.In addition to the temporary exodus to more rural settings, some people are leaving big cities to find permanent solace in the countryside.This got us thinking about how humans are predictably irrational about decisions about their futures. The biases about future happiness go hand in hand with changing where you live.The article that got us thinking about this was written by Rachel Feintzeig and Ben Eisen. Together, they do a great job of assembling data on the movement during the heart of the crisis and notes that even with a major recession hitting the global economy, many people feel the need to move.© 2020 Weekly Grooves Links“When Workers Can Live Anywhere, Many Ask: Why Do I Live Here?” from the Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2020: https://www.wsj.com/articles/when-workers-can-live-anywhere-many-ask-why-do-i-live-here-11592386201“Is It Time to Let Employees Work from Anywhere?” by Prithwiraj (Raj) Choudhury , Barbara Z. Larson and Cirrus Foroughi, August 14, 2019 in HBR: https://hbr.org/2019/08/is-it-time-to-let-employees-work-from-anywhereRemote Work Statistics: Shifting Norms and Expectations from February 2020: https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/remote-work-statistics/#:~:text=Remote%20Work%20Is%20Increasing&text=Over%20the%20last%20five%20years,or%203.4%25%20of%20the%20population.“U.S. Workers Discovering Affinity for Remote Work,” Gallup Polls, April 3, 2020: https://news.gallup.com/poll/306695/workers-discovering-affinity-remote-work.aspxSchkade, D. A., & Kahneman, D. (1998). Does Living in California Make People Happy? A Focusing Illusion in Judgments of Life Satisfaction. Psychological Science, 9(5), 340–346. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9280.00066“The evolution of decision and experienced utilities” by Robson and Samuelson, Theoretical Economics, September 2011: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.3982/TE800Dan Buettner: On Quality of Life, “Thrive”: https://www.wbur.org/npr/131571885/how-to-thrive-dan-buettner-s-secrets-of-happinessDan Gilbert: On Predicting Future Happiness. https://positivepsychology.com/daniel-gilbert-research/#:~:text=Daniel%20Gilbert%20completed%20his%20Ph,emotional%20state%20in%20the%20future.George Loewenstein, Ted O’Donoghue & Matthew Rabin on Projection Bias: https://www.cmu.edu/dietrich/sds/docs/loewenstein/projectionbias.pdf


How Riot Art Creates Hope
Jun 12 2020 16 mins  
We were pleased when we saw an article this week in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, by Alicia Eler titled, “George Floyd Murals, Graffiti on Boarded-Up Twin Cities Businesses Spread a Message of Pain ⁠— and Hope.” The author states, “In the wake of last week’s riots, hundreds of artists around the city are transforming boarded-up windows with messages of remembrance, hope, demands for justice, healing community and pride for minority-owned businesses.”We wanted to explore this idea of graffiti art in situations like the one we’re in right now – not only as a way of expressing emotions but of creating something more meaningful and lasting. And in so doing, we wanted to look at the underlying psychological principles behind how art in public spaces affects us. LinksMinneapolis Star Tribune, by Alicia Eler: https://www.startribune.com/george-floyd-murals-graffiti-on-boarded-up-twin-cities-businesses-spread-a-message-of-pain-hope/571102672/Healing Invisible Wounds: Art Therapy and PSTD: https://www.healthline.com/health/art-therapy-for-ptsd#1Graffiti Psychology: Why Vandals Strike: https://www.cleanlink.com/cp/article/Graffiti-Psychology-Why-Vandals-Strike--1131Tattooing Buildings: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/psychiatric-disorder/201506/tattooing-buidingsOgilvy “Babies in the Borough” Project: https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-19398580Video of Babies in the Borough: https://www.local.gov.uk/babies-borough-using-behavioural-insights-reduce-anti-social-behaviourPeyton Scott Russell “Sprayfinger”: http://sprayfinger.com/?author=1


Reflecting on Protests Sparked by the Death of George Floyd in Minneapolis
Jun 05 2020 29 mins  
On May 25, 2020, a white Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by holding him down with a knee on his neck for over 8 minutes. This was done while three other officers either helped in holding down Mr. Floyd down or stood by watching. Mr. Floyd’s death is an unimaginable horror as it was not the result of a split-second or hair-trigger decision, but a callous, calculated effort that lasted more than 8 minutes. This killing kicked off a week of protests which grew darker as the nights went on. As many as 81 buildings in Minneapolis have been burned, with 25 of them completely destroyed, and 270 businesses have been vandalized since Mr. Floyd’s death.This hits home for Tim and Kurt. Tim lives only a few miles from the epicenter but has had people racing down his street, as they were deterred from the closed freeways by roadblocks – some of them threatening his neighbors with harm. Kurt lives only blocks away from where some of the protests occurred and could smell the smoke and tear gas in the air, hear the chants of protesters, and see the police and national guard units patrolling up and down his street in the middle of the night as they stood watch to protect the neighborhood. The bank and post office that were burned down is where Kurt did his banking and sent his mail from. The loss of property in no way compares to the loss of human life – that is, Mr. Floyd’s life – and in no way compares to the hundreds of years of black suppression. These are terrible tragedies on many levels.We’ve decided to talk about this on this podcast because it is personal for us – we have gone through a range of emotions and we thought that many of you might have been going through the same. There have been similar incidents of outrage and protests in the past – Eric Garner and Michael Brown are just two that come to mind – but this one seems different. Maybe it’s different because we live here and it’s so close…but maybe it’s different because it was the last straw that finally tipped the scales…let’s hope so. LinksTally of Buildings Damaged in Minneapolis: https://www.startribune.com/these-minneapolis-st-paul-buildings-are-damaged-looted-after-george-floyd-protests/569930671/ Kareem Abdul Jabar – People Pushed to the Edge: https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2020-05-30/dont-understand-the-protests-what-youre-seeing-is-people-pushed-to-the-edge“Psychological Research Explains Why People Protest” Forbes, May 20, 2020. By Nicole Fisher: https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicolefisher/2020/05/29/the-psychology-of-protests-reveals-why-americans-are-ready-for-action/#334d1f3bbbb6White guy with AR-15 vs. Black guy with AR-15 video: https://www.facebook.com/KeithKuder/videos/866107570115697







Losing Your Job Might Cause You to Save More
May 15 2020 15 mins  
This week, Matt Egan in CNN Business wrote a piece called “Americans create new economic threat with their own savings.” In it, he wrote that credit card debt is declining as American’s are spending less AND are paying down their balances.This information piled on top of a conversation we had on our other podcast, Behavioral Grooves, with Mariel Beasley, the Director of the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University. She shared current research that lower-to-middle income Americans are saving MORE during the pandemic.On one hand, that’s totally rational because we don’t know how long the crisis is going to last and we need to save for what will sure to be additional expenses. On the other hand, increasing your savings when you don’t have a job doesn’t make sense.In this Weekly Grooves, we discuss some of the research literature on scarcity, fear, and the common mistake made by gamblers to place risky bets when their winnings are down. We also discuss the possibility of anticipated regret as a possible explanation for savings behaviors.We hope you enjoy it and that you’ll share this episode with a friend.© 2020 Weekly Grooves LinksEgan, Matt, “Americans create new economic threat with their own savings” CNN, May 12, 2020: https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/12/investing/jobs-coronavirus-consumer-spending-debt/index.htmlCarrns, Ann, “How to Build an Emergency Fund in the Middle of an Emergency,” The New York Times, March 20, 2020: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/20/your-money/coronavirus-emergency-fund.html “Each extra dollar saved” reduces the likelihood of having to skip bill payments, said Mariel Beasley, a co-founder of Common Cents Lab, a financial research group at Duke University.Kahneman, Daniel, & Tversky, Amos, Prospect theory: An analysis of decision under risk. Econometrica, 47, 263–291, 1979: https://www.uzh.ch/cmsssl/suz/dam/jcr:00000000-64a0-5b1c-0000-00003b7ec704/10.05-kahneman-tversky-79.pdfLoudenback, Tanza, “The pandemic spurred Americans to finally start saving money, but it's unclear how long the new habit will last,” Business Insider, May 14, 2020: https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/us-savings-accounts-increase-during-pandemic-emergency-funds-2020-5Shafir, Eldar, “The Psychology of Scarcity,” American Psychological Association, February 2014: https://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/02/scarcityWeber, Bethany & Chapman, Gretchen, “Playing for peanuts: Why is risk-seeking more common for low-stakes gambles?” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Making, 2003: https://tinyurl.com/y884upe7“Covid-19 Crisis: Mariel Beasley on Increasing Short Term Savings During the Crisis,” Behavioral Grooves, May 13, 2020, episode 146: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/covid-19-crisis-mariel-beasley-on-increasing-short-term-savings-during-the-crisis/Unemployment Rates in the United States from 1929 to 2019: https://www.thebalance.com/unemployment-rate-by-year-3305506Behavioral Grooves: https://behavioralgrooves.com/Kurt Nelson, PhD: @whatmotivatesTim Houlihan: @THoulihan




Thanks For No Memories
Apr 25 2020 17 mins  
Our inspiration this week comes from an article written by Shayla Love for Vice titled, “You’ll probably forget what it was like to live through a pandemic.” We thought it would make a great jumping-off point for how we will remember this time as well as a discussion on memory in general. We explore how memories get shaped during historically significant times and how vividness and emotion play into those memories. But, as Shayla notes, we don’t remember things all that accurately.She points out that our specific memory of this time, even with all it’s heightened emotions and significance, will become, as she says, “a blur.” She goes on to say, “Those on the frontlines, like healthcare workers, will remember it differently. They'll witness the toll on human life firsthand and emotions like grief, fear, and anxiety will heighten their memories….[but] For those whose lives remain unscathed, who have the privilege of waiting out the weeks without much daily variety, this stretched out "historical event" isn't conducive to creating sharp, defined memories. Despite having conscious awareness of each moment now, a lot of it will slip away.”We hope you enjoy this episode of Weekly Grooves.© 2020 Weekly Grooves Links“You’ll probably forget what it was like to live through a pandemic.” By Shayla Love: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/5dmxvn/what-will-we-remember-from-the-coronavirus-covid19-pandemicYou have no idea what happened (New Yorker): https://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/idea-happened-memory-recollectionA new false memory study suggest people can’t tell whats real: https://gizmodo.com/a-new-false-memory-study-suggests-people-cant-tell-what-1842751404How our brains make memories: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-our-brains-make-memories-14466850/Did That Really Happen? How Our Memories Betray Us: https://www.npr.org/2019/12/16/788422090/did-that-really-happen-how-our-memories-betray-us


Tips for Maintaining Social Relationships in During COVID-19
Apr 18 2020 14 mins  
This week, we saw an article in NewScientist titled, “Psychology tips for maintaining social relationships during the lockdown.” For those of you who haven’t seen it, we thought it would be valuable to review that and other tips on staying sane during a shelter-in-place order.In this episode, Kurt and Tim look at hints and tips to stay more socially connected while needing to be physically distant.The article that got us excited about this topic was written by Robin Dunbar, PhD, a British anthropologist, evolutionary psychologist and an expert in social bonding. Dr. Dunbar created a concept called the “Dunbar Number,” which explores the number of people with whom we can maintain stable social relationships – relationships in which we know who each person is and how each person relates to every other person.We hope you enjoy this week’s episode.LinksPsychology tips for maintaining social relationships during lockdown: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2240487-psychology-tips-for-maintaining-social-relationships-during-lockdown/?utm_source=NSDAY&utm_campaign=adbf6d03c7-NSDAY_150420&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1254aaab7a-adbf6d03c7-373930907Dunbar Number – Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunbar%27s_numberHarlow’s monkey Experiment: https://www.psychologynoteshq.com/harlows-monkey-experiment/Endorphins: effects and how to increase levels: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320839#low-endorphins-and-health-conditionsMusic reduces stress: https://www.thehealthy.com/mental-health/anxiety/songs-to-reduce-anxiety/Debussy “Clair de Lune”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNcsUNKlAKwChopin “Mazurka”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yn2tOKHjEMQOpioid release after high-intensity interval training in healthy human subjects: https://www.nature.com/articles/npp2017148




Economic Optimism in America – Really?
Apr 03 2020 12 mins  
This week, we saw a survey conducted by McKinsey about consumer sentiments during the crisis across several different countries, generations and economic statuses. The comparative data is fascinating and we wanted to view it through a behavioral lens.Although businesses may eventually come back to life after social distancing measures lift, it won’t happen all at once. It is also unlikely that consumer spending, the largest contributor to US economic activity, will bounce back immediately. Part of that is due to a decline in incomes, especially for workers who have been furloughed or laid off.But there’s a psychological impact, too, said Elena Duggar, Chair of Moody’s Macroeconomic Board. The coronavirus pandemic has already disrupted human behavior in dramatic ways, ranging from social distancing to panic-buying toilet paper. Consumers will probably be wary of making big purchases even when the economy begins to come back to life. They’re unlikely to suddenly return to their pre-coronavirus levels of spending, Duggar said.Finally, spending that would have taken place in the second quarter isn’t necessarily going to be made up later in the year. Travelers whose spring break trips were canceled are probably not going to take two summer vacations. Consumers are not going to eat double the meals at restaurants, or go to twice as many movies later in the year, simply because they missed out on those things in the spring. LinksArticle that caught our attention: McKinsey & Company “Consumer Sentiment During the Coronavirus Crisis”: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/marketing-and-sales/our-insights/survey-us-consumer-sentiment-during-the-coronavirus-crisisHow fast can the US economy bounce back? It depends on the virus: https://presstories.com/2020/04/03/how-fast-can-the-us-economy-bounce-back-it-depends-on-the-virus-2/The “Ostrich Effect” And The Relationship Between The Liquidity And The Yields Of Financial Assets: https://dqydj.com/ostrich-effect-ignore-negative-financials/“The ‘Ostrich Effect’: Selective Attention to Information about Investments,” by Niklas Karlsson, George Loewenstein and Duane Seppi: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/226770945_The_Ostrich_Effect_Selective_Attention_to_InformationCommon Biases & Heuristics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XHpBr0VFcaT8wIUpr-9zMIb79dFMgOVFRxIZRybiftI/edit#


The Impact of Celebrity Donations
Mar 27 2020 14 mins  
Celebrities making big donations are nothing new. But in the crisis-ridden days of our coronavirus quarantines, celebrity donations seem to be piling up. Good news for the charities – right? That’s why we were attracted to an article in The Hill about large celebrity donations intended to assist with the pandemic. Judy Kurtz’s story is about singer James Taylor and his wife Kim giving $1 million to Massachusetts General Hospital to assist with purchasing supplies and equipment, repurposing space, or furthering research seeking treatments and means of prevention for COVID-19. Ms. Kurtz identified a few things that caught our attention from a behavioral perspective: First, James was born at Mass General. Second, James and Kim live in Massachusetts. Third, Peter Slavin, the president of the hospital, said in the press release that the donation will be a big morale booster for the staff and caregivers. These things got us thinking about the behavioral implications.First, celebrity donations usually act as good seed money for additional donations – especially when the celebrity has some meaningful connection to the charity. Second, the reason that celebrity donations work well is that their donations are signals to everyone else. The signal that the charity itself is both likable and credible. Third, celebrity actions can backfire when they’re not authentic, like in the case of Gal Gadot using a song that didn’t match with her lifestyle. Some celebrities are giving out of altruism, some out of ego and some from peer pressure. LinksArticle: “James Taylor and wife donating $1M to help Massachusetts General Hospital fight coronavirus” by Judy Kurtz on March 25, 2020.Link: https://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/489402-james-taylor-and-wife-donating-1m-to-help-massachusetts-generalDeborah Small, PhD on the Paradox of Charitable Giving: https://www.wharton.upenn.edu/story/what-motivates-people-to-give-charity-giving-tuesday/Erica Harris, PhD and Julie Roth, PhD, on celebrity effects on charitable giving: https://www.rutgers.edu/news/celebrity-endorsements-lead-increases-charitable-donations-publicCommon Biases and Heuristics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XHpBr0VFcaT8wIUpr-9zMIb79dFMgOVFRxIZRybiftI/edit# © 2020 Weekly Grooves


Out of Toilet Paper? Blame America's Failings in the Toilet Wars
Mar 20 2020 13 mins  
Kurt was struck by an article on the National Public Radio site that indicated the United States is significantly behind the rest of the civilized world when it comes to modernized toileting. That caused us to take a closer look at the behavioral science behind what’s keeping the US market from adopting higher tech versions of the porcelain throne.With toilet paper flying off the shelves, one wonders WHY more Americans aren't scooping up bidets. (In fact, they are starting to. Tushy said their sales are up 50% since the outbreak of the coronavirus.)We are not really interested in the world of scatology, but we do care about hygiene and technology. And most importantly, we care about what behavioral science has to say about the use of these technologies. © 2020 Weekly GroovesTim Houlihan: @THoulihanKurt Nelson, PhD: @WhatMotivates LinksAmerica is losing the toilet war: https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2020/02/25/808791622/why-america-is-losing-the-toilet-race?utm_campaign=storyshare&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=socialWhy Don’t Americans Use Bidets: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/03/the-bidets-revival/555770/Today I Found Out: https://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2014/10/dont-americans-use-bidets/Lessons on cleanliness NY Times: https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/05/27/are-americans-too-obsessed-with-cleanliness/lessons-in-cleanliness-between-french-and-americansToilet psychology: https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-25/edition-6/toilet-psychologySquatty Potty: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlEovr29KBUCommon Biases and Heuristics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XHpBr0VFcaT8wIUpr-9zMIb79dFMgOVFRxIZRybiftI/edit#Cristina Bicchieri, PhD on toilet use: https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/trendsetters-shaped-indias-massive-sanitation-campaign/



Manipulated Media – Do Labels Matter?
Mar 13 2020 7 mins  
This week, Twitter created a new policy and applied it to an edited video of Joe Biden that a White House official posted, and of course, President Trump retweeted. The material was not original – it had been tampered with. The video triggered Twitter to create a new policy banning the use of synthetic or manipulated media. In other words, videos that were not original would be in violation.Twitter has faced push-back from activists citing First Amendment rights and the difficulty in identifying what is “fake” versus what isn’t. Their policy reads:“You may not deceptively share synthetic or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm. In addition, we may label Tweets containing synthetic and manipulated media to help people understand their authenticity and to provide additional context.”The criteria Twitter laid out include: 1. Is the content synthetic or manipulated? 2. Is the content shared in a deceptive manner? 3. Is the content likely to impact public safety or cause serious harm? The best form of punishment for creating deceptive messaging, however, is not retweeting in disgust, but silence. According to former Twitter employee Nathan Hubbard, “Hot Twitter tip from someone who worked there: every time you retweet or quote tweet someone you’re angry with, it *helps* them. It disseminates their B.S.! Hell for the ideas you deplore is silence. Have the discipline to give it to them.”We hope you enjoy our discussion of the behavioral science implications of Twitter's new policy. © 2020 Weekly GroovesTim Houlihan: @THoulihanKurt Nelson, PhD: @WhatMotivates LinksTwitter Synthetic and Manipulated Media policy: https://help.twitter.com/en/rules-and-policies/manipulated-mediaPolitico – Biden video first manipulated media label: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/08/manipulated-media-twitter-biden-video-124116?cid=apn“Misinformation and Its Correction: Continued Influence and Successful Debiasing” by Stephan Lewandowsky, Ullrich K. H. Ecker, Colleen M. Seifert, Norbert Schwarz, and John Cook: http://www.emc-lab.org/uploads/1/1/3/6/113627673/lewandowskyecker.2012.pspi.pdf“Stopping the spread of fake news with behavioral sciences” by IE University: https://drivinginnovation.ie.edu/stopping-the-spread-of-fake-news-with-behavioral-sciences/“Fighting Fake News and Post-Truth Politics with Behavioral Science: The Pro-Truth Pledge” by Gleb Tsipursky and Fabio Votta: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3138238“Sources of the Continued Influence Effect: When Misinformation in Memory Affects Later Inferences” by Hollyn M. Johnson and Colleen M. Seifert: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232501255_Sources_of_the_Continued_Influence_Effect_When_Misinformation_in_Memory_Affects_Later_InferencesCommon Biases and Heuristics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XHpBr0VFcaT8wIUpr-9zMIb79dFMgOVFRxIZRybiftI/edit#Behavioral Grooves: https://behavioralgrooves.com/


Hacking the Coronavirus and Covid-19
Mar 10 2020 13 mins  
Coronavirus and the disease it’s created – Covid-19 – is alive and well and getting stronger every day. How bad is it? It’s difficult to say with any certainty in part because it’s constantly changing and it’s very complex. However, when presented with ambiguous information, our minds draw conclusions based on our biases and the decision-making heuristics our ancient brains rely on.In this episode, Kurt and Tim discuss an article by friend and leading behavioral scientist, Michael Hallsworth, PhD. Michael leads the North American Behavioural Insights Team and knows a thing or two about behavior change.In this article, Michael talks about what behavioral science hacks can be applied to reduce the spread of the virus and, hence, Covid-19. Links“Handwashing can stop a virus – so why don’t we do it?” by Michael Hallsworth, PhD: https://behavioralscientist.org/handwashing-can-stop-a-virus-so-why-dont-we-do-it-coronavirus-covid-19/ Effective Hand Washing: https://tinyurl.com/to4gpswDoctors Hand Hygiene plummets unless they know they are being watched: https://abcnews.go.com/Health/doctors-hand-hygiene-plummets-watched-study-finds/story?id=39737505The long history of the hand-washing gender gap: https://slate.com/technology/2020/02/women-hand-washing-more-than-men-why-coronavirus.html“Experimental Pretesting of Hand-washing interventions in a natural setting,” by Gaby Judah, PhD, et al.: https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdfplus/10.2105/AJPH.2009.164160“Risk and Morality: Three Framing Devices,” by John Adams, PhD: https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.169.4608&rep=rep1&type=pdfWhen-Then Statements: https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/for-educators/teaching-strategies/behavior-strategy-when-thenTemptation Bundling: https://jamesclear.com/temptation-bundling


Donation Burnout
Mar 09 2020 13 mins  
You’re probably familiar with the dreaded Membership Drive from non-profit organizations around the world. Whichever season it is, there seems to be a membership drive going on. In Minneapolis, where we live, the Winter Membership Drive from National Public Radio has been going on and it’s driving us crazy.In this episode of Weekly Grooves, we explore the irritation that donors have for being asked to give more and more frequently. And not only membership and donation drives, but why we get burned out on charitable giving across the board. It’s not that we don’t love these non-profits. In fact, we do love them. But persistent requests for increases in donations and the frequency with which we’re being asked is fatiguing. We understand the psychology of charitable giving, altruism and persuasion, and we can say that the creative work done by many pro-social agencies is excellent. The trouble is that, as donors, we are tired of it!Listen to this episode to peek into the behavioral science behind why donors don’t enjoy being asked repeatably to give and give more. And, we offer a few tips on what you can do about it. LinksCharity Burnout: https://www.energizeinc.com/hot-topics/2005/decemberPsychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-squeaky-wheel/201305/7-ways-get-out-guilt-tripsAll Biases and Heuristics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XHpBr0VFcaT8wIUpr-9zMIb79dFMgOVFRxIZRybiftI/edit#Nonprofit Donor Burnout: https://www.nonprofitexpert.com/nonprofit-questions-answers/nonprofit-donor-burnout/How to survive a public radio membership drive: https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-to-survive-a-public-radio-membership-drive“6 Ways Fundraisers Turn Off Donors” in Small Business: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/why-donors-dont-give-2502028National Do Not Solicit Registry (for the United States): https://www.donotcall.gov/index.html


Garbage Language & Corporate Double Talk: The Downside..and Upside?
Feb 28 2020 8 mins  
Corporate speak. Garbage language. Double talk. Acronyms. We are fed up with language that lacks clarity and is intended to obfuscate. We were instantly happy when we saw an article in Vulture by Molly Young that got us thinking: among all the detestable aspects of this double talk, is it possible there’s an upside, too?In this episode of Weekly Grooves, we explore some of the psychological benefits and attenuations caused by what is often referred to as Garbage Language. In just a few short minutes, we run through some of our most irritating examples of this unnecessary jargon.Just so you know…consider these:“Can you parallel path this?” ...Do you want me to work on two things at the same time or deliver an alternative?“It’s a blue ocean project…” ...Are you trying to let me know that this has vast opportunity to grow or that we’re starting from scratch?“We should be able to deliver this for single digits…” ...Why not just say that we expect to come in under $10 million?“We’ll need to do a deep dive on that…” ...Are you indicating we need more analysis?“We’ll need more bandwidth to get that done…” ...What are you asking for? Do you want more or different people with the same or different skill sets to help get this done?“We need to get aligned on this before we move forward…” ...Are you indicating that every person on the team must agree 100% with the recommendations or just most of us before we get started?“What’s your takeaway from this?” ...Are you asking what I’m learning from our discussion or are there specific items that require action that you want me to follow up on?© 2020 Weekly Grooves Links“Why Do Corporations Speak The Way They Do?” by Molly Young in Vulture: https://www.vulture.com/2020/02/spread-of-corporate-speak.htmlWeWork Filing with SEC: https://www.businessinsider.com/wework-reportedly-draws-scrutiny-from-sec-2019-11Cristina Biccieri, PhD: https://philosophy.sas.upenn.edu/people/cristina-bicchieriLila Gleitman, PhD: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lila_R._Gleitman


Reclining Airline Seats – Whose Space Is It Anyway?
Feb 22 2020 14 mins  
How do you deal with someone reclining their airline seat while you’re trying to read? And how do you deal with someone behind you who doesn’t want you to decline your seat? This very small encounter can create heated exchanges, as seen in the video links below.The resolution could be very simple when viewed through a behavioral lens. The first question is about ownership: who owns the space – the person wanting to recline or the person wanting to read?In this week’s episode, we apply the behavioral lens to a situation that need not be so difficult if the drink and snack cart is handy.© 2020 Weekly Grooves The video that sparked the conversation: https://www.today.com/video/viral-video-shows-airline-passenger-punching-woman-s-reclined-seat-78666309643The Endowment Effect and other biases: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XHpBr0VFcaT8wIUpr-9zMIb79dFMgOVFRxIZRybiftI/edit#How to Resolve Seat Disputes: Use Behavioral Economics. https://evonomics.com/resolve-fights-reclining-airplane-seats-use-behavioral-economics/41% of Fliers Think You’re Rude: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/airplane-etiquette-recline-seat/Don’t Want Me to Recline My Airline Seat? You Can Pay Me: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/28/upshot/dont-want-me-to-recline-my-airline-seat-you-can-pay-me.htmlThe Knee Defender: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knee_DefenderTale of Two Markets: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1111/j.0956-7976.2004.00757.xCoase Theory: https://www.intelligenteconomist.com/the-coase-theorem/Tim Houlihan: @THoulihanKurt Nelson, PhD: @WhatMotivates


How Do We Deal with Disinformation?
Feb 14 2020 16 mins  
We saw an article in The Atlantic that caught our attention because of its hook into behavioral science: our willingness to believe disinformation. In this week’s episode, we talk about the underlying behavioral science into why we humans are so susceptible to information that is not accurate.What can we do? We can use the OODA loop to interrupt our too-quick decision to simply accept suspicious content: Observe – Orient – Decide – Act. The OODA loop, in a very simplistic manner, uses these four elements in this way: to take in and observe the context in which you’re seeing this information; orient yourself with the source in a critical way; make a decision by asking, “if this is from someone I might not trust, would I still believe it?”; and take action by deleting content created to DIS-inform you. And since our podcast is relatively new, we are very interested in knowing how you think we’re doing. Please leave us a review or drop us a line. @THoulihan or @WhatMotivates© 2020 Weekly Grooves Links“The Billion Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Reelect the President,” by McKay Coppins in The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/03/the-2020-disinformation-war/605530/Disinformation: “False information, which is intended to mislead, especially propaganda issued by a government organization to a rival power or the media.”Misinformation: “False or inaccurate information, especially that which is deliberately intended to deceive.”Conspiracy Theory: “A belief that some covert but influential organization is responsible for a circumstance or event.”The Donation of Constantine: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donation_of_ConstantineThe National Enquirer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_EnquirerThe Daily Mail: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daily_MailThe Messenger Effect: https://www.nber.org/papers/w25632.pdfOODA Loop: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OODA_loopLeveraging the OODA Loop with Digital Analytics to Counter Disinformation, by Jami Carroll (2019): https://search.proquest.com/openview/0a78c42e27ef89dab1bd4969bd6d0974/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=396497Viktor Frankl: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_FranklFactCheck.org: https://www.factcheck.org/Snopes: https://www.snopes.com/about-snopes/Gallup Polls Believing in the Media: https://news.gallup.com/poll/267047/americans-trust-mass-media-edges-down.aspx


Iowa Caucus Conspiracy Theories – How to Inoculate Yourself
Feb 07 2020 24 mins  
Listeners, especially in the United States, are already aware of the debacle from the Iowa Caucuses and how the Iowa Democratic party used a new app to help streamline the caucus results. You’re probably also aware that the processes and technologies failed, and results were not available for days afterward.The delay has caused a plethora of online conspiracy theories and that’s our topic for this week. In the absence of good data, we make it up.Some of the richest conspiracy theories Kurt and Tim found include: 1.) The Democratic party didn’t like the results that they were seeing, so they were changing them. 2.) The Russians or the Chinese had hacked the app and were messing with us. 3.) The Republicans had hacked the app and were trying to rig the election. 4.) Hillary Clinton had helped build the app and was using it to get back at Sanders. And our all-time favorite conspiracy theory (5.) involves the Illuminati and how they were controlling the outcome. With all this swirling around, Kurt and Tim discuss why it’s humans to engage in conspiracy theories and some of their psychological underpinnings, the personality types that are most prone to believing a conspiracy theory, and what we can do to inoculate ourselves from this sort of thinking.We are reason-seeking machines and are more likely to ask “why” before we fully understand “what” happened.Join us for a quick review of why we experience conspiracy theories in the first place and what we can do about them.© 2020 Weekly GroovesKurt Nelson, PhD: @WhatMotivatesTim Houlihan: @THoulihanLinksOnline conspiracy theories flourish after Iowa caucus fiasco: https://apnews.com/8ae0e5172130f81265172fbd3e65094aThe Psychology of Conspiracy Theories, 2017, Douglas, Sutton and Cichocka: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0963721417718261The psychology of conspiracy theories: Why do people believe them, John Grohol PsyD: https://psychcentral.com/blog/the-psychology-of-conspiracy-theories-why-do-people-believe-them/Closed Belief System: https://issuepedia.org/Closed_belief_systemConspiracy theories: the science behind belief in secret plots, The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/science/brain-flapping/2013/sep/05/conspiracy-theories-science-belief-secret-plotsFundamental Attribution Error: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fundamental_attribution_errorHanlon’s Razor: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanlon%27s_razorIlluminati: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20170809-the-accidental-invention-of-the-illuminati-conspiracyLantian, A., Muller, D., Nurra, C., Douglas, K. (2017). “‘I know things they don’t know!’: The role of need for uniqueness in belief in conspiracy theories,” Social Psychology, 48, 160-173Mercier, H. & Sperber, D., “Why do humans reason? Arguments for an argumentative theory” BEHAVIORAL AND BRAIN SCIENCES (2011) 34, 57–111 doi:10.1017/S0140525X10000968Motivated Reasoning: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motivated_reasoningOliver, Eric on “Big Brains” Episode 25: https://news.uchicago.edu/podcasts/big-brains/science-conspiracy-theories-and-political-polarization-eric-oliverPareidolia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PareidoliaPattern Recognition: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pattern_recognition_(psychology)Pattern Recognition: The Science Behind Conspiracy Theories, Steven Novella: https://www.thegreatcoursesdaily.com/why-do-we-give-into-conspiracy-thinking/Project Mogul: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MogulResulting (Annie Duke): https://www.annieduke.com/how-to-make-the-right-decisions-even-when-you-dont-have-all-the-facts/


The Iowa Caucuses - Do They Matter?
Jan 31 2020 15 mins  
Weekly Grooves is the podcast where we explore topical issues through the lens of behavioral science. Tim Houlihan and Kurt Nelson, PhD have worked in the world of behavioral interventions for more than 20 years and we each run our own consultancies. In Weekly Grooves, we view the headlines through the lenses of behavioral science.The Iowa caucuses are on February 3, 2020, and the media is abuzz with who will win Iowa and take the “front runner lead” for the Democrats. So while we’re interested in the politics of this, we’re actually more interested in the psychology of being the “front runner” and what that entails.There are a number of behavioral factors that make the front-runner a great position: The Bandwagon Effect – people want to be part of the winning team. The Availability Bias where the front runner gets more media exposure, making them more immediate in memory. The Mere Exposure Effect is how we tend to develop a preference for things merely because we are familiar with them. The Hot Hand Fallacy could also positively impact the person who wins – or even who beats expectations. But being the front runner does not always lead to victory. In this episode, we’ll discuss how these play a role in our behaviors.© 2020 Weekly GroovesKurt Nelson, PhD: @whatmotivatesTim Houlihan: @THoulihanLinksAll Biases and Heuristics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XHpBr0VFcaT8wIUpr-9zMIb79dFMgOVFRxIZRybiftI/edit#Importance of being inspiring: http://www.leadershipchallenge.com/resource/inspire-a-shared-vision-how-important-is-inspiring.aspx



How Will We Remember Kobe Bryant
Jan 31 2020 14 mins  
Weekly Grooves is the podcast where we explore topical issues through the lens of behavioral science. Tim Houlihan and Kurt Nelson, PhD have worked in the world of behavioral interventions for more than 20 years and we each run our own consultancies. In Weekly Grooves, we view the headlines through the lenses of behavioral science.This week, we were struck by the way people were talking about Kobe Bryant after his sudden death in a helicopter crash in which he and eight other people perished, including his 13-year old daughter, Gianna. Kobe was only 41 years old.And while his life is abundant with great accomplishments, both on and off the basketball court, he spent some time in the headlines for not-so-nice things. And what Kurt and I want to look at today is how we remember them after they’ve died or how we think of people as they grow old.© 2020 Weekly GroovesKurt Nelson, PhD: @whatmotivatesTim Houlihan: @THoulihanLinksKobe Bryant Achievements: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_career_achievements_by_Kobe_BryantKobe Bryant Sexual Assault Case: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobe_Bryant_sexual_assault_caseHuman Memory, a book by Gabriel A. Radvansky. Third edition published in 2016. https://books.google.com/books/about/Human_Memory.html?id=AjglDwAAQBAJ“Chapter 17 - The Amygdala and Emotional Arousal Effects on Object Recognition Memory” by Benno Roozendaal, Areg Barsegyan, Yanfen Chen. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128120125000173 “Praise is Fleeting, but Brickbats We Recall,” by Alina Tugend, The New York Times, March 23, 2012. https://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/24/your-money/why-people-remember-negative-events-more-than-positive-ones.html


How To Keep Your Keep Your New Year's Resolutions
Jan 31 2020 15 mins  
This is Weekly Grooves' inaugural episode where we explore topical issues through the lens of behavioral science. Tim Houlihan and Kurt Nelson, PhD have worked in the world of behavioral interventions for more than 20 years and we each run our own consultancies. In Weekly Grooves, we view the headlines through the lenses of behavioral science.We are not good at keeping resolutions. January 17th is the Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day – the day that it is attributed with having the most people abandoned their New Year’s resolutions. It is often a day of celebration, and among some people, it’s even considered a holiday. But according to a study conducted by US clinical psychologist Joseph Luciani, PhD, around 80 percent fail to keep their New Year’s resolutions.What can be done? We have some ideas and we urge you to get re-engaged in your resolutions with tips in our super-fast episode on habits.© 2020 Weekly GroovesKurt Nelson: @whatmotivatesTim Houlihan: @THoulihanLinks“A theory of goal setting & task performance.” Locke & Latham: https://tinyurl.com/trx5tg4“Goal commitment and the goal-setting process: Problems, prospects, and proposals for future research.” John Hollenbeck, Howard Klein: https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1987-26774-001“Immediate Rewards Predict Adherence to Long-Term Goals” Kaitlin Woolley, Ayelet Fishbach: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0146167216676480?journalCode=pspc“Wishful Seeing: More Desired Objects Are Seen as Closer” Emily Balcetis and David Dunning: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0956797609356283“Executive function and the frontal lobes: a meta-analytic review.” Julie Alvarez, Eugene Emory: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16794878“Writing Down Goals: Does It Actually Improve Performance?” Robert Weinberg, Deanna Morrison, Megan Loftin, Thelma Horn, Elizabeth Goodwin, Emily Wright, and Carly Block: https://journals.humankinetics.com/view/journals/tsp/33/1/article-p35.xmlBenjamin Gardner, PhD: https://www.nirandfar.com/goal-setting-hack/Bryan, Gharad, Dean Karlan, and Scott Nelson. "Commitment Devices." Annual Review of Economics 2.1 (2010): 671-98. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.economics.102308.124324https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/ditch-new-years-resolutions-day/https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/fun/ditch-new-years-resolution-dayhttps://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/articles/2015-12-29/why-80-percent-of-new-years-resolutions-failhttps://bestlifeonline.com/new-years-resolutions-ditch-date/https://www.nirandfar.com/habits/https://nesslabs.com/habits-routines-ritualshttps://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180208120923.htmhttps://www.stickk.com/


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